Meet FLVS Student Lauren Mackey
My first course with Florida Virtual School was M/J Language Arts II with Ms. Wilson.
At the time, I was in seventh grade and planning on majoring in English at New York University to pursue a career as an author. One of my Language Arts assignments had me writing a five paragraph essay about the definition of love, which I definitely had enough experience to write about at the age of 13.
When I presented the essay to Ms. Wilson over the phone, I recall her describing my essay as something she expected to hear from an adult, out of a magazine, and encouraging me to join the FLVS Newspaper Club, News In A Click (NIAC).
Upon getting the call from Mrs. Jennifer Newton, the sponsor of the club, that I was the newest member of NIAC, I screamed and jumped around my kitchen. Despite my excitement, I told myself that I had only joined for the writing experience and could not write nonfiction journalism. However, three months later, that changed when I, along with five other Newspaper Club members whom I now consider to be some of my best friends, attended the Florida Scholastic Press Association District 3 workshop at the University of Central Florida. It took just a few hours of being surrounded by other student journalists just like myself and hearing from professors and professional journalists to know that I was going to become a journalist.
Nearly five years later, I am a rising senior and heading into my second year as the Editor-in-Chief of News In A Click. After claiming I would never run for an editorial position on the newspaper, I became Student Life section editor in 2013 and News section editor in 2014. I have attended the FSPA District 3 workshop three times, as well as the state convention four consecutive years, and the Summer Journalism Institute at the University of Florida twice. Through FSPA, I’ve won a few writing and design awards, including “Gold” for the newspaper overall, and was a National Winner for Opinion Writing in the 2014 Quill and Scroll International Writing and Photography Contest.
Because of my experience with the Newspaper Club, I have had the opportunity to complete three journalism internships, write for the Orlando Sentinel’s blogging platform HypeOrlando, and am now writing for the Valencia College student newspaper, the Valencia Voice. This summer, I was accepted to NYU’s Career Edge Program for Digital Journalism and the Poynter High School Journalism Program.
Over the past five years, I have also applied the writing and leadership knowledge I have gained through NIAC to the Yearbook Club, where I was co-editor last year; the Fine Arts Club, where I was recently elected the Writers’ Chair; and the FLVS Clubs Wiki, which I co-moderate with another FLVS student.
Although it sounds cheesy, that essay evolved into countless articles and inspired me to declare journalism as my major on my college applications, like to NYU, when I apply this fall. FLVS clubs have not only provided me with numerous opportunities beyond FLVS and given me valuable experiences to add to my resume, but also an innumerable amount of laughs and unforgettable memories, and my best friends. By joining a club (or five!), you truly become part of a family.
Post by FLVS student Lauren Mackey, Class of 2017.